Over the weekend, The Bachelor host Chris Harrison announced that he would be stepping aside temporarily from the franchise. What does that mean? Following his on-air Extra interview with Rachel Lindsay, one where he downplayed and excused away the offensive actions of Rachael Kirkconnell, he will not be a part of the After the Final Rose special. The entirety of Matt James’ season has been filmed already, as has the Women Tell All special that happens every season.
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So with Chris’ departure in mind, how will ABC cap off this season of the show? That’s still a little bit unclear. Typically, the After the Final Rose special features Harrison sitting down with the recipient of the final rose and the lead to discuss what’s next for them. If they were to go ahead with this special without him, they would need to find a different host.
The most sensible replacement would probably be Lindsay, given her experience on Extra and the support she has among most of Bachelor Nation. Yet, she also suggested on her Higher Learning podcast her intention to step away from the franchise once her current contract expires. You could also look towards JoJo Fletcher, Sean Lowe, or Wells Adams, all franchise alums who have at least some experience in hosting at this point, though none of them have as much current support as Lindsay.
Or, we do wonder if it’s possible ABC ends up canceling the After the Final Rose special outright. They opted not to do one for Tayshia Adams’ season, due in part to the pandemic and logistical issues. They could opt to do something similar here. Doing so would mean lost ratings, but it may also mean sidestepping an interview with Rachael Kirkconnell in the event she gets Matt’s final rose. As of right now, she has to be considered the favorite to be there at the end.
No matter what ABC decides, we hope that it comes with accountability — The Bachelor can’t just shy away from taking on its own flaws, especially when it comes to racism. Doing so only perpetuates the problems and allows them to resurface. That’s what we worry about if they opt to avoid After the Final Rose outright.
What do you think The Bachelor will do when it comes to its After the Final Rose this time around?
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.